SAN DIEGO -- I bet that all Julian Castro wants for Christmas is for former congressman Beto O'Rourke to stay retired.
And I bet O'Rourke -- an Irishman who speaks Spanish and does a decent impression of a Latino Democrat -- would probably just as soon not run against a real one.
But now that Castro -- a rising star who served as San Antonio ...Read more
One of the reasons people decry the "fakeness" of the news is the selectivity of which heart-rending anecdotes are "news" and which are not -- unless they can be blamed on undesirable politicians.
On Dec. 13, the Washington Post published an online story headlined "7-year-old migrant girl taken into Border Patrol custody dies of dehydration, ...Read more
When I talk to young people, I try to offer them what I was offered when I was their age but is rarely offered today: wisdom. I was given wisdom largely because I went to a religious school -- a yeshiva, a traditional Jewish school in which the long day (9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) was divided between studying religious subjects (in Hebrew) and ...Read more
The erosion of what many Americans once believed were the foundations of our country continues apace. They include, but are not limited to, overspending and debt (personal and national), never-ending wars, uncontrolled borders leading to massive immigration with no time for or expectation of assimilation and political divisions that grow wider ...Read more
Kim Jong Un, angered by the newest U.S. sanctions, is warning that North Korea's commitment to denuclearization could be imperiled and we could be headed for "exchanges of fire."
Iran, warns Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, is testing ballistic missiles that are forbidden to them by the U.N. Security Council.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Cleveland has written the latest chapter in the unfolding scandal of the American criminal justice system.
A report by the U.S. Marshals Service details a series of failures and abuses in Cleveland's jails: Overcrowding. Frequent lockdowns to make up for understaffing. Food denied as punishment. Pregnant inmates sleeping on the ...Read more
"You're the top! You're an Arrow collar.
You're the top! You're a Coolidge dollar.
You're the nimble tread of the feet of Fred Astaire,
You're Mrs. Sweeny,
-- A version of "You're the Top," Cole Porter (1934)
WASHINGTON -- In the early 1930s, when Benito Mussolini was ...Read more
It has become an article of faith in some quarters on the right -- well, most -- that Robert Mueller's investigation has found no evidence of collusion with Russia and has accordingly shifted gears to process crimes like lying to the FBI or obstruction of justice. Having decided that this must be true, many have called for Mueller to wrap it up....Read more
Talk-radio host and friend Chris Plante recently made an excellent point about Hollywood. As horrible new revelations of sexual misbehavior surface about former Les Moonves, it's highly unlikely anyone's going to make a movie about him, or about Matt Lauer, or Charlie Rose and so on. But there are two fictional projects (and a new documentary) ...Read more
Is it coincidence or contagion, this malady that seems to have suddenly induced paralysis in the leading nations of the West?
With lawyer-fixer Michael Cohen's confession that he colluded with Donald Trump in making hush money payoffs to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, America's stage is set for a play that will run two years.
As Democrats ...Read more
Two weeks ago in this column, I asked what is to blame for the weakness of the heads of government here and in Western Europe, institutional failure, voter fecklessness, leaders' personal weaknesses or some combination of all three?
This week, let's look at one of those institutions: political parties. How have they contributed to current woes?...Read more
FLORENCE -- A tourist in Florentine museums is like a skipping stone above unfathomable depths. Here a Botticelli. There a Donatello. A single room at the Uffizi that would reward a lifetime of study gets five hurried minutes before lunch.
I have no intention of performing art criticism without a license (a capital offense here in Italy). But a...Read more
SAN DIEGO -- The media is still buzzing about this week's televised 17-minute confrontation between President Trump and Democratic leaders over a possible shutdown if Congress doesn't approve additional funding for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Yet, people are talking about the wrong thing.
The narrative is that soon-to-be House Speaker ...Read more
Hell may have no fury like a woman scorned, but scorning the Washington Establishment produces even greater anger.
The Establishment's full fury has been unleashed against Donald Trump and is not about to subside until its goal is reached: the removal of the president from office, either through impeachment or defeat in the 2020 election.
If ...Read more
"The money man dealing himself a hot royal flush. Then giving you and me a phony hand like a pair of tens or something."
--"Waiting for Lefty," Clifford Odets, 1935
WASHINGTON -- With his gravelly voice and his lack of senatorial sheen -- even in a well-pressed suit he somehow radiates rumpledness -- Sherrod Brown could have wandered ...Read more
There was a time I might have been a little embarrassed to admit this: I'm a huge reality television fan.
You simply will not find a more committed consumer of the genre, from "Real Housewives" to "Hollywood Medium," "Southern Charm" to "Below Deck." After a long day of covering the actual news, there's nothing better than crawling into bed to ...Read more
This week, I did something that USA Today's executive leadership apparently hadn't done lately: I read the newspaper's "principles of ethical conduct for newsrooms."
It's pretty highfalutin. The media manifesto of virtue, posted online, applies to all employees "working with any news platform, including newspapers, websites, mobile devices, ...Read more
SAN DIEGO -- After some close calls, Rick Sanchez is ready for his comeback.
Not surprisingly, the newsman's return to the airwaves is not without controversy. Who would have thought that the son of Adela and Paco -- Cuban refugees who came to the United States in 1960 fleeing communism -- would wind up working for a global cable television ...Read more
National Public Radio is out begging for donations this week, with major stations like Washington's WAMU offering gifts like those silly reusable grocery bags touting the "Power of Truth." But the truth can be pretty embarrassing. Apparently, NPR exploits cheap labor.
Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi has revealed that according to ...Read more
Is "Merry Christmas" a thing of the past, a greeting from a bygone era, a remnant of a past with which we no longer want to be associated? We might not be there yet, but if current trends continue, we're not far off. If so, it's a shame, a further coarsening of the culture -- and worse. It is yet another an example of the removal of religion, ...Read more